Ways to motivate and reward students

  1. As an instructor, I am always looking for ways to motivate and encourage students. My students are already great and the huge majority are already self-motivated. We don't have any attendance policy and attendance is really high, but I am looking for extra ways to reward and encourage the class for their hard work.

    Wish I could afford to treat them all to pizza and salad but on an instructor salary that isn't happening!

    What have your past instructors done that motivated, encouraged, or helped you out? What are some of the things that make you love nursing as a student?
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    About AOx1

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 1,011; Likes: 3,351
    Nurse!; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in ER, ICU, Education


  3. by   motivated2nurse
    Sometimes just encouraging and reassuring students that they are on the right track is motivating enough. I have a really tough instructor, but I appreciate her because she encourages us through her toughness. She drills us on medication in clinical but I've learned so much. She assures me that I will thank her later and I believe her. Nurses that are on the floors tells us the students that she's tough but you will know your stuff. Sometimes encouragement is enough .
  4. by   MrazFan
    I am a fairly new nursing student, but what I would really be appreciative of for a reward would be the opportunity to "throw out" your worst assignment/quiz score at the end of the semester, so it wouldn't negatively affect your overall grade. We've all had that one quiz where we just weren't with it, or where we were too nervous and it threw us off. Whatever criteria you set (perfect attendance, all assignments on time, no grades below X level, etc.) would encourage the students to do well to begin with, but this "forgiveness" of one poor grade would be a nice reward for hard work, I think. But then again, I'm one of those people who will do really, really well on 9 out of 10 quizzes, and the only thing I can think about is the one I didn't do well on...
  5. by   NursingRocks1998
    How great of you to pose this question in the first place!! Words of encouragement are always good for motivation- my favorite instructor, the one who intimidated me like crazy in the very beginning, stapled some inspirational quotes to our evaluations and just took the time to give us some feedback by meeting with us individually. I have those quotes taped to my front door so I look at them everyday. Also, if you're a classroom instructor, you can motivate students by keeping the lecture interesting and drawing on your personal experience as it relates to the topic. (But I'm sure you do that already ) Good luck- oh, and I like the "throw out a bad grade" idea too!
  6. by   vashtee
    My favorite instructor let me start an IV on her for practice. I thought that was pretty fantastic.
  7. by   truern
    One semester my clinical instructor gave each of us a "Free Pass" to use once during the rotation. We could use the pass to get an extra day to prepare paperwork for clinical...for those nights when family stuff came up or maybe you just couldn't stay up yet another night. We sure appreciated those passes!!

    A lecture instructor used to play "Jeopardy" and ask a trivial question related to something "nursey" and whomever answered correctly got to choose from NCLEX study guides, nursing gadgets, etc. she used for prizes.
  8. by   AOx1
    Great ideas, I'm taking notes
  9. by   9livesRN
    plenty of oral questions and extra points! answer it right on the classroom = +2 on test grade not quiz TEST

    and do presentations (not necessary) but when done and if it is a short one, you can use that grade(presentation) towards a bad quiz.

    now if it is more complex of a presentation, use that on a test grade!

    i think the max is 3 quiz + 2 test replacements!
  10. by   caliotter3
    I agree with the suggestions for the ways that students can improve their grades or have extra time for assignments. Anything that gives them the ability to improve their grades would be appreciated by those who just need a couple of points. One instructor of mine has a policy of providing extra credit opportunities. However, the extra credit is held in a "bank" and does not kick in unless one is between grades at the end, say 77, 78, or 79%. The extra credit earned could be used to boost that person to a B. By keeping it in a bank, that discourages people from slacking off a little, thinking that the extra credit can be added as if it was an integral part of the grade. This also cuts down on the complaints from people who earned a good grade saying that extra credit people don't deserve the higher grade. Only use it if a person is close to the higher grade. Sometimes we all could use that extra couple of points. JMO
  11. by   smartin13
    The instructors collect stuff during the quarter, books, pens, bags anything from facilities, confrences or anywhere they may come across them. Then they use those as prizes. Also above all things material I appreciate a job well done, weather its in person or in an email saying "great job on the test".
  12. by   D1914
    How about a news article on the rising unemployment rate? That should be enough motivation.
  13. by   sproeber89
    What my instructors do is collabarative testing, meaning we all take our test individually, and then we take it as a group, if the group gets all the questions correct, then each individual in that group gets 2 extra points added to the test.
  14. by   AOx1
    Thanks to all who have responded. I appreciate your comments.